Wednesday, September 16, 2009
It's bothersome that 9 is getting such mixed reviews. Honestly, this is one of the best films of the year and deserves to be championed as such. It takes 3-D animation in a new, mature direction. The visuals are stunning and the story accessible, with a grand new talent in director Shane Acker sounding his arrival. The casting of the voice talent is impeccable and the story streamlined to start creating awe with the first frame, never diminishing through the final shot and voice over. I like that the film is serious about its content. The characters each have their unique personality, essential considering that these "stitch punks" are the only protagonists we are offered. Their plight versus a machine that has sought to take over the world until there is no human or hope left is familiar. We've all seen it done before in big sci-fi event hullabaloos (The Matrix and Terminator franchises cannot be dismissed during the film), but I've never seen it done like this. There is something refreshingly small-scale to this story, creating an intimacy and mystery even as dazzling visuals and complicated action sequences are used to tell it. It's thrilling, scary, and touching without ever being overly aware of its need to get these responses from its audience. If its too slow or too short for some audiences of critics, I invite them to try to remember a film this "slow" or "short" that entertained this effortlessly.